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Full text of "Medical Jurisprudence And Toxicology"

HANGING

149

pension. It may also be circular if a ligature is first placed at the nape of
the neck and then its two ends are brought horizontally forward and cross-
ed, and carried upward to the point of suspension from behind the angle
of'the lower jaw on each side. The mark will be both circular and obli-
que if a ligature is passed round the neck more than once.

Character of the  Mark.—
The mark varies according to
the   nature   of  the   material
used  as  a ligature and the
period   of   suspension   after
death.   It is a superficial and
broad mark, if a cloth or a
soft rope is used; while it is
well-defined,     narrow     and
deep, if a firm string is used.
The mark is a groove or fur-
row,   the   base   being   pale,
hard,   leathery   and   parch-
ment-like,   and  the  margins
red      and      congested.   rTfie^
colour      becomes      reddish- ~
brown or chocolate brown if
seen after some hours of sus-
pension,   Eechymoses       and
slight abrasions in the groove
are rare, but may be found \
in some cases, e.g. in judicial |
hanging. Jg^ymoses    alone
have   no   significance   as   to
whether hanging was caused
during life for not,  but ab-
rasions with haemorrhage are
strongly suggestive of it hav-
ing taken place during life.

ig. 42.—Attempted Suicide by hanging.

Other Signs.— --J^S, nec-^ *s fouri(i stretched and elongated, and the head
is always inclined to the side opposite to the knot. JEfo^ face is usually
pale and placid, but may be swoflen and congested if the body has been
long suspended. The eyes are closed or partly open, and the pupils are
usually dilated. %j& tongue is drawn in, or caught between the teeth, or
protruded and bitten. It is usually swollen ?and blue, especially at the base.
Bloody froth is sometimes seen at the mouth and nostrils. S^Jjva is often
found running out of an angle of the mouth down on the cEin and chest.
13jjgjg a sure sign of hanging having taken place during life, as the secre-
tion of saliva being a vital function cannot occur after death. The hands
are often clenched, especially in violent hanging. Turgescence of the geni-
tal organs generally occurs in both sexes from hypostasis. Seminal fluid
is sometimes present at the urethra! Hiatus, bit it is not a diagnostic sign
of hanging, as it has often been observed by rae in those who suddenly died
from mechanical violence.. Escape of urine ,amd faeces is often found from
relaxation of the sphincters ; it is also of no diagnostic value, as it is seen
in other forms of death. Post-mortem staining will be seen on the lower
parts of the body if suspension has been continued for some lime aflSesc
death.                                                                                               ( !

. — On dissection the subcutaneous tissue
dryfwEite and glistening — more Boarked if ihe
has been suspended for a long time.   The muscles of the